Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Feb. 24, 2006. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

It seems I’m constantly being made aware of things I take for granted. Like many of you, I get in those moods of looking at the things other people have that I lack. I forget to look at the things I have and truly treasure.

One day this week I had fallen into that trap of ingratitude. As has been the case many times before, an e-mail arrived that immediately changed my focus. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.

“Grandma, some 90-plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move — just sat with her head down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her, she didn’t acknowledge my presence. Not wanting to disturb her, but wanting to check on her at the same time, I said, “I didn’t mean to disturb you, Grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands, and I wanted to make sure you were OK.”

“Have you ever looked at your hands,” she asked. “I mean really looked at your hands?” I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years,” Grandma said. “These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak, have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and embrace life.

“They caught my falls when I was a toddler. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. My mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

“They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band, they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

“They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse. They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand. They have covered my face, combed my hair and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down and again continue to fold in prayer.

“These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly, it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when He leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side, and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.”

Have you looked at your hands today? Do you really appreciate all they do for you? And do you use them as often as possible to help others?

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